Talabani Returns to Baghdad To Mediate Crisis With Erbil

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has returned to Baghdad in an attempt to mediate the crisis between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Kurdistan Region, reports Hussein Ali Daoud.

al-monitor Iraq's President Jalal Talabani attends the closing session of the Arab League summit in Sirte October 9, 2010. Photo by REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny.

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maliki, kurdistan, krg, barzani

Dec 4, 2012

President Jalal Talabani will return to Baghdad to restart efforts to resolve the crisis between the federal government and the Kurdistan region, a Kurdish official has stated. Meanwhile, the American ambassador in Iraq warned of the repercussions of the dispute between the two parties.

The leader of the Kurdistan Alliance Bloc, MP Hassan Jihad, told Al-Hayat that Talabani “will return to Baghdad this evening [Dec. 3] to discuss the political crisis between Baghdad and Erbil,” saying that he is “optimistic.”

“A Kurdish delegation led by the former deputy prime minister, Barham Salih, will arrive in Baghdad within a couple of days for talks with parties in the federal government and a number of leaders of political blocs in a bid to find a solution to the crisis,” he added.

Talabani had returned to the Kurdistan region a few weeks ago and sources close to him said he was furious about the fact that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki failed to deliver on his promise to dissolve the Tigris Operations Command.

State of Law coalition leader MP Abdul Salam al-Maliki attacked Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani yesterday [Dec. 3] and accused him of trying to lay the foundation for secession from Iraq by fabricating crises.

He said in a statement that “Barzani and his MPs try every now and again to create crises or encroach upon the constitution and the law so that they can find flimsy excuses that would allow them to talk about secession, or to pretend to be persecuted and marginalized by the central government.

“Barzani violated the constitution and all of Iraq's laws when he sheltered Tariq al-Hashemi, the wanted criminal, and was the reason behind his escape to Turkey. He also provided refuge for Syrian gunmen in the province,” he added.

Head of the Turkmen Front MP Arshad Salhi warned against exacerbating the crisis between the Kurdistan region and the federal government despite the existence of many initiatives, including the initiative of the Parliament Speaker Osama Najafi.

Salhi said during a press conference yesterday [Dec. 3] that “this is an issue of significance for us because the Turkmen are part of the current situation," pointing out that "when the issue of the formation of the Tigris forces was raised, we proposed to form the Kirkuk operations, to be composed of all the Turkmen, Arab, Christian and Kurdish components.”

He continued, “If parties continue to interfere in the security services’ work, no rewarding result will be yielded. Moreover, we, the sons of the Turkmen component, have asked more than once for the redistribution of security positions in these areas.”

He pointed out that “the region has some problems and we do not want to resort to the last points and ask for international intervention at this stage. The Kurdistan region has to positively accept the issue.”

Furthermore, US Ambassador to Baghdad Robert Stephen Beecroft, during his meeting with Barzani, expressed his country's concern regarding tensions between the federal government and the province in the disputed areas. He agreed with what was mentioned in the statement made by the presidency of the region, according to which, “Changing the reality [in these regions] should be achieved through coordination between the federal government and the Kurdistan region, rather than by one party alone.”

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